Anxiety-Panic History
2000The film "Nurse Betty" is released; a comedy involving PTSD and dissociation. (49)
2000 Feb 24The CBS program "48 Hours" entitled "Panic; A Look At People Struggling With Anxiety" is broadcast. (49)
2001 Jun 11The popular TV show "Fear Factor" is launched by NBC. In this so-called "reality show" participants are shown confronting fearful or disgusting experiences in competition for a $50,000 reward. (49)
2001 Sep 11Coordinated terrorist attacks against the United States; killing many people from many nations. The subject of PTSD is frequently featured in subsequent news media reports. (49)
2001 Sep 25Over the two weeks following 9-11, prescriptions for alprazolam (Xanax) spiked 9% nationally and 22% in New York before returning to pre-9-11 levels. (49)
2001 OctPostal anthrax attacks directed at Senate offices in Washington, DC, NBC news in New York City and American Media Inc. in Florida; resulting in more than a dozen cases and several deaths in the United States. Concerns regarding similar attacks result in false alarms worldwide and are accompanied by numerous hoaxes. Anxiety drives an increased demand for the anti-biotic medication Cipro as well as gas masks. (49)
2001 DecThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the use of Paxil (paroxetine) in the treatment of PTSD. (49)
2002 JanIn the spirit of NBC's Fear Factor, two more TV shows invite participants to control their anxiety/stress to win money; namely, ABC's "The Chair" and Fox's "The Chamber." Due to low ratings and copyright issues, both shows are soon canceled. (49)
c. 2002 MarSales representatives for the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly mail unsolicited starter supplies of Prozac Weekly to roughly 300 patients in Florida with a letter advising them to cease their current antidepressant and begin taking the new drug. The mailing causes much surprise and confusion among patients and doctors, and the resulting controversy ends the sales campaign. (49)
2002 MayResearchers at Johns Hopkins design a real-time system that monitors an individual's stress via the hormone hydrocortisone; intended for use by soldiers and professionals. (49)
2002 Jun 10Time magazine's June issue features cover story entitled, "Understanding Anxiety." The magazine cites a UCLA survey suggesting that "less than 25% of Americans with anxiety disorders receive any kind of treatment for their condition." Theoretical roles of the amygdala and prefrontal cortex are featured. (49)
2002 Jul 15The TV series "Monk" premiers on the USA network. Starring Tony Shalhoub, the show's main character is a fictional San Francisco detective named Adrian Monk who suffers Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and phobias. Though Monk's anxieties are often used comically, the show also maintains sensitivity and respect for his condition. (49)
2002 AugA federal judge orders GlaxoSmithKline to cease TV commercials that claim the medication Paxil (paroxetine) is not habit forming (addictive). (49)
2002 Sep 11News media reports acknowledge that PTSD remains a problem for many people a year after the terrorism events of 2001. (49)
2002 Oct 12Terror bombing of nightclubs in Bali, Indonesia. (49)
2002 DecGlaxoSmithKline's Paxil generated global sales of about $3.4 billion in 2002. (49)
2003 JanThe ethics of 'shadowing' or 'preceptorship' (where drug company sales representatives sit in on doctor-patient appointments) is questioned by The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. A spokesperson for Eli Lilly and Co. acknowledges that this practice has been going on for at least five years. Currently, the AMA has no policy on the matter. Pharmaceutical companies pay doctors up to $500 per day for allowing this practice. (49)
2003 Jan 4The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves use of Prozac (fluoxetine) for use in treating children with depression or OCD. (49)
2003 Jan 7Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. agrees to pay $670 million to settle a law suit regarding their efforts to block generic (low cost) medications; including the anti-anxiety medication Buspar. (49)
2003 Jan 11GlaxoSmithKline threatens to cease medication sales to Canada if the lower Canadian prices continue to be made available to patients in the United States. (49)
2003 Jan 13A federal judge reverses a decision made last August (which had prohibited GlaxoSmithKline from advertising Paxil as non-habit forming) after hearing that FDA officials approved the advertising language. (49)
c. 2003 FebKara Blanc sues the producers of the Sci-Fi Channel show "Scare Tactics." As an unwitting victim in one of the show's pranks, she became so frightened that she had to be hospitalized for "physical injuries" and "severe emotional distress." Her lawsuit eventually ended with a low seven-figure settlement and the prank that involved her was not included in the TV series. The series premiers on April 4, 2003. (49)
2003 Feb 24Newsweek magazine's Feb. 24 issue addresses medical and psychological details of stress and anxiety. Theoretical roles of the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands are featured. Tissue damage, as well as some cases of fatality, are attributed to acute or chronic anxiety. Various treatments are described. (49)
2003 Apr 4The TV series "Scare Tactics" premiers on the Sci Fi channel. The show features elaborate practical jokes that frighten unwitting victims for entertainment value. (49)
2003 MayAccording to US FDA officials, they first became aware of a possible link between antidepressants and suicidal behavior in children in May 2003. (49)
2003 Jun 18The American Medical Association (AMA) adopts it's first policy on the ethics of 'shadowing' or 'preceptorship'. Generally, they oppose pharmaceutical sales representatives sitting in on patient exams without a patient's consent and measures to protect patient privacy. (49)
2003 Jun 19The FDA warns that paroxetine (brand names include Paxil, Seroxat) may increase risk of suicidal ideation in patients under age 18. (49)
2003 Jun 19A Harvard University study (by J. Kagan, C. E. Schwartz, C. I. Wright, L. M. Shin, S. L. Rauch) shows that people who were shy or inhibited as children had amygdala hyperactivity in adulthood. (49)
2003 AugDespite the FDA's warning last June that paroxetine may increase risk of suicidal ideation in patients under age 18, clinicians debate over whether the medication is beneficial enough to use anyway within this patient group. (49)
2003 Aug 27A study funded by Pfizer Inc. (maker of Zoloft) suggests that Zoloft is effective in treating patients under age 18. Like Paxil, Zoloft is also a Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor (SSRI). (49)
2003 Sep 5The 1st International Conference on Psychophysiology of Panic Attacks, University of Westminster, Harrow Campus, London, UK. (51)
2003 OctThe book "Surviving Panic Disorder" by Stuart Shipko, M.D., is published. (19)
2003 DecAccording to the medical data company IMS Health, the pharmaceutical industry spent $3.3 billion on ads aimed at consumers and $33.2 billion on research and development in 2003. (49)
2003 DecIn 2003, there were 32.7 million prescriptions written for the antidepressant Zoloft. (49)
2004 FebThe FDA advises pharmaceutical manufacturers to make warnings easier to read and understand in their advertising; i.e. use less technical language, larger type for fine print and on same page as printed ad, list most common risks first. (49)
2004 Mar 11Terror bombing of train in Madrid, Spain. (49)
2004 Mar 19In San Francisco, California, a Fisherman's Wharf street performer known as "The Bushman" is acquitted of four criminal misdemeanor charges of being a public nuisance. His performance style is to camouflage himself as a bush (using some tree branches) so that he can lunge forth to startle passing pedestrians. (49)
2004 Mar 22The FDA issues further warning that SSRI medications may increase risk of suicidal ideation in both children and adults. Cited medications include (brand names) Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, Effexor, Celexa, Remeron, Lexapro, Luvox, Serzone, Wellbutrin. (49)
2004 Apr 15The antidepressant nefazodone (Serzone) is linked to liver failure. Bristol Myers Squibb has stopped selling the medication in Canada and Europe, and soon in Australia and New Zealand as well. The company was forced by the FDA to add a liver warning two years ago and is still selling the medication in the United States. (49)
2004 Apr 16A committee of the US House of Representatives plans to investigate the FDA's handling of antidepressant-suicide risk in children. (49)
2004 Apr 16Some airports explore a pilot program of "behavior pattern recognition" to identify individuals who may be a security threat. Behaviors considered suspicious include anxiety symptoms such as sweating and hypervigilance. (49)
2004 Apr 22British researchers suggest that fluoxetine (Prozac) is the only antidepressant safe enough for treating depression in children. Other antidepressants are suspected of carrying too high a risk of suicidal ideation. (49)
2004 Apr 23A statement by the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) entitled, "Antidepressant Medications for Children: Information for Parents and Caregivers," warns, "concerns have been raised that antidepressant medications themselves may induce suicidal behavior and be ineffective in treating depression in youths." (49)
2004 Apr 28A US National Toxicology Program report indicates that fluoxetine (Prozac) can affect the development of babies (both in the womb and through breast milk) when the mother is taking the medication. Additionally, the report noted that the medication can interfere with sexual climax. Fluoxetine is also now detectable in the environment (surface waters and bluegill fish). (49)
2004 May 13Pfizer Inc. agrees to guilty plea acknowledging that its recently acquired Warner-Lambert unit was promoting Neurontin for unapproved uses in violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Currently, Neurontin is only approved as an anti-seizure medication. However, industry sponsored medical gatherings and publications prematurely promoted the use of Neurontin in treating psychiatric disorders. Fines amount to $430 million. (49)
2004 May 19Bristol-Meyers Squibb announces that it is removing the antidepressant nefazodone (Serzone) from the US market and will discontinue sales and manufacture of the medication effective June 14. This announcement follows concerns of liver damage and removal of the medication from other global markets last April. (49)
2004 Jun 2A study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicates that anxiety disorders are the most common of mental conditions in many countries and that treatment or support is often inadequate or poorly allocated. (49)
2004 Jun 2New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer sues GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) for concealing information about the use of paroxetine (Paxil) in treating children; namely, apparent lack of efficacy and possible elevation of suicide risk. GSK would later settle the case for $2.5 million. (49)
2004 Jun 10The US FDA encourages Eli Lilly and Pfizer Inc. to revise their antidepressant labels to note potential effects to unborn children during third trimester of pregnancy. Newborns of mothers taking antidepressants (such as Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor) have been reported to suffer withdrawal symptoms including jitteriness or tremors, as well as sleep or breathing difficulties. Longterm effects to infants are not yet known. Forest Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Wyeth have already made similar revisions to their labels for Celexa, Lexapro and Paxil. (49)
2004 Jun 17A report in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery suggests that roughly half of patients with bone breaking injuries suffer some degree of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). (49)
2004 Jul 1A study of contemporary combat troops' mental health is featured in the New England Journal of Medicine. Results suggest that 17% of troops serving in Iraq and 11% of troops serving in Afghanistan suffered consequent major depression, anxiety or PTSD. Among troops suffering PTSD, estimates suggest less than half have sought help due to emotional, social or career concerns, or were even discouraged from seeking help. (49)
2004 Jul 16A study in the journal Child Development reports that mothers who experience abnormally prolonged anxiety during mid-pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children with anxiety symptoms. (49)
2004 Jul 21The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) publishes a study of suicide risk among British adults and children taking antidepressants. The study focused on two TCAs (amitriptyline and dothiepin) and two SSRIs (fluoxetine and paroxetine). Suicide risk was found to be similar among these medications, but the study could not determine whether the medications were directly responsible for this suicide risk. (49)
2004 Aug 4The US FDA approves the new antidepressant duloxetine (Cymbalta) for use in treating depression. Manufactured by Eli Lilly and Co., duloxetine acts on serotonin and norepinephrine. (49)
2004 Aug 5A Wall Street Journal newspaper report says that FDA analysis of clinical trial data suggest increased risk of suicide among children taking antidepressants. The FDA maintains that this subject is controversial and requires further study. (49)
2004 Aug 8The BBC reports that traces of the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac) have been found in the United Kingdom's drinking water. Though highly diluted, there is concern of the medication's buildup in ground water and rivers. (49)
2004 Aug 12FDA Commissioner Lester M. Crawford, in an Associated Press interview, expresses concerns that terrorists might attempt to poison imported medications, though there is no evidence of any such attempts. The FDA continues to generally discourage Americans from purchasing medication outside of the country for a variety of controversial reasons. (49)
2004 Aug 22The Edvard Munch masterpieces "The Scream" and "Madonna" are stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. "The Scream," painted in 1893, is often considered a modern icon of human anxiety. The paintings are recovered in August, 2006. (49)
2004 Sep 9During a US congressional hearing, pharmaceutical company representatives were ambivalent about making clinical trial data available to the public. During the proceedings it was acknowledged that Wyeth had wanted to add warnings to its antidepressant Effexor in 2002, but was discouraged by the FDA. (49)
2004 Sep 13New Jersey state officials announce free telephone counseling services for people still feeling traumatic effects of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. (49)
2004 Sep 13Dr. Andrew Mosholder, Dr. Tarek Hammad and others report to an FDA advisory panel that a study (23 clinical trials, 9 antidepressants) suggested increased risk of child suicidal behavior with use of antidepressants. (49)
2004 Sep 17The FDA says it supports its advisory panel's recommendation to provide a "black box" warning with all antidepressants regarding the apparent suicide risk to children. Reflecting contrasting opinions, the American Psychiatric Association added that lack of treatment may be the largest risk to children. (49)
2004 Oct 2The 2nd International Conference on Psychophysiology of Panic Attacks, University of Westminster, Harrow Campus, London, UK. (51)
2004 Oct 3The BBC Panorama program entitled "Taken on Trust" is broadcast. The program focuses on the SSRI antidepressant paroxetine (commonly known by brand names such as Seroxat and Paxil) and its association with "addiction, self-harm, aggression and even suicide." GlaxoSmithKline (manufacturer of Seroxat) and Britain's Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are sharply criticized for failures to acknowledge adverse effects of the medication and warn the public. (49)
2004 Oct 14The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges promoters of Cortislim and Cortistress with false advertising. Advertisements have claimed that these diet supplements can promote weight loss by controlling the stress hormone cortisol, which it does not. (49)
2004 Oct 15The FDA orders manufacturers of all antidepressants to include "black box" warnings regarding suicide risk in children. (49)
2004 Oct 15In the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, researchers at New York Upstate Medical University report that sedative effects of SSRI antidepressants might be countered by the narcolepsy medication modafinil (Provigil). However, the results of this small pilot study only include 16 patients over a three week period and lack a control group. (49)
2004 Oct 22New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center is using gradual Virtual Reality Exposure (VRE) techniques to treat PTSD (9-11 trauma) and a variety of phobias (flying, heights, storms, public speaking, job interviews and socializing). (49)
2004 Nov 11Continuing controversy over antidepressants helps encourage the British government to insist that pharmaceutical companies fully disclose clinical trial data regarding marketed medications. Government regulators will also be prohibited from having financial interests with pharmaceutical companies to reduce corporate influence. (49)
2004 Nov 12The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry publishes a short-term study suggesting paroxetine (Paxil) is safe and effective in the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in children. The placebo controlled study involved 207 individuals over a period of ten weeks. The authors suggest longterm studies to further analyze this use of paroxetine. (49)
2004 Dec 1The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) expresses concerns that the US FDA is not adequately protecting the public from dangerous medications and suggests a separate office for monitoring medications being marketed. (49)
2004 Dec 9The American Journal of Psychiatry features a study indicating that childhood anxiety disorders (such as social phobia and OCD) often precede eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. The results are based on a questionnaire-based study of 672 people. (49)
2004 Dec 10Dr. Anu Patel, an anesthesiologist at University Hospital in Newark, reports that video games can be effective in reducing children's anxiety prior to surgery. The pilot study included 78 children and suggested greater efficacy than tranquilizers. (49)
2004 Dec 13The Archives of Internal Medicine report a study of commercial body-imaging (CT or MRI scans) for healthy people. The study found that advertising of these services often used scare tactics to encourage heath worries. (49)
2004 Dec 19During an ABC interview, Andrew Card (President Bush's chief of staff) said, "I support the FDA. They do a spectacular job." In contrast, Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy has stated, "We need an FDA that looks out for the health of patients and not just the health of the pharmaceutical industry." (49)
2004 Dec 24The Harvard Mental Health Letter advises that children's anxiety disorders should be treated during childhood. Such anxiety disorders are attributed to genetic and environmental causes. Recommended treatments include play therapy and CBT. (49)
2004 DecBritain's drug regulatory agency issued a report that warned that all SRIs "may be associated with withdrawal" and noted that Paxil and Effexor "seem to be associated with a greater frequency of withdrawal reactions." (49)
2004 DecBenzodiazepine (BDZ) medications accounted for about $702.8 million in US sales, making it the 11th largest therapeutic class based on total dispensed prescriptions. (49)
2004 DecThe Center for Public Integrity reports that the pharmaceutical industry spent more than any other business on lobbying efforts and campaign donations in 2004 ($128 million). (49)
Anxiety-Panic History